So in terms of websites that allow you to self-publish your own stories for feedback, promotion etc, several spring to mind.
Firstly, then, 'Readwave' is a relatively new, user friendly 'facebook'-type site that subscribes to our impatient, fast-food guzzling, high-paced modern society by encouraging 3-minute long stories. It even proclaims 'you've got 3 minutes!' As you go to start writing, leaving you scrambling to condense your myriad philosophical ideas and life-changing, fire-inducing epiphanies into a you-tube video-sized package.
In reality, however, this is a good thing, as with so much these days, people are far more likely to take a chance reading a short piece. The site describes itself as a 'community', and the feedback and reviews you will receive (dependent as you go along on your own level of involvement, reading and commenting on other's pieces) are usually quite constructive and helpful. It does veer at times into mutual back-slapping territory but really, this is unavoidable and can be a good initial (and continuing) confidence boost anyway.
They also 'employ' volunteer staff reviewers, sending out weekly pieces for them to review and help in choosing which stories will make their home page, which again can be useful for honing editing and close reading skills, and becoming more aware in applying the same processes to your own work. Readwave itself is big on life pieces, so the most popular pieces tend to focus on life stories, with the barometer often fluctuating towards the cheesy spectrum...although I guess this is kind of a reflection of popular culture, so not really their fault, and in fairness, it's pretty brave to pour out your heart, or take an awful life experience, commit it to words, transform it into art, and then put it up online for the world to read (and learn from) so they don't need me putting a miserable spin on it.
Their layout is super social media aware, with 'like' buttons (in the shape of hearts, bleurgh) and share options etc. Ended up having some pretty interesting conversations with folks through the staff reviewer role, and it's interesting to see who has been successful in being published outside of the self-publishing bracket. Travel writing, for example, appears to be very marketable and popular, even if the writing itself is decidedly dodgy and chock full of errors - fighting snakes and bears and drinking flaming shots in Tunisia or wherever will always go down well.
It's good as well to absorb other budding writer's positive promotion - I had kinda assumed the people who described themselves as 'authors' and had links to published works had actually been published externally, but turns out the vast majority were in fact self-published. Can't knock positive promotion though, and if you've done all that work anyway.
I'd put Readwave pretty high up there for its easy-going, friendly
community and social media friendly layout. It could do with a
forum-type section to make it easier for contributors to engage, but they seem to be constantly active in sourcing out and developing new ideas to keep the site evolving so it'll be interesting to see it grow.
One final thought is that they are keen on writers including pictures, which again ties in with the facebook-aware grabbing of attention amongst rafts of text. Again, a good idea, but find/create your own picture and upload it to accompany your piece. They have a nice selection of house photos to choose from, but invariably 2000 other people will also have chosen the picture you spent ages selecting.Readwave site link